HAMBURG SV 1 CITY 0
Friendly played at HSV Nordbank Arena
26th July 2008
City Hart, Corluka, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Ireland, Fernandes, Petrov, Vassell, Elano, Caicedo – subs Schmeichel(45), Onuoha(70), Logan(unused), Hamann(78), Castillo(unused),, Sturridge,(80), Evans(66), Etuhu(66)
Hamburg Rost, Atouba, Reinhardt, Mathijsen, de Jong, Olic, Jarolim, Trochowski, Boateng, Pitroipa, van der Vaart.
Mark Hughes saw this as a good tough test for City as they looked to try and get as many players match fit 3 weeks ahead of the season, it saw first starts for Elano and Corluka and Caicedo was given a chance to show he could lead the line
The game was played in temperatures of over 30 degrees and it had been agreed that each side could make unlimited substitutions
The first real attack came on 5 minutes as a dangerous Hamburg low cross was well collected by Hart.
Hamburg were looking the much more impressive and dangerous side as van der Vaart shot wide from20 yards . City’s midfield were playing very deep and had no connection with forwards and City just couldn’t test the Hamburg defense
In the 16th minute the usually trusted Richard Dunne inexplicably let the ball run under his foot on the edge of the box and Pitroipa nipped into neatly place the ball past Hart from 8 yards to make it 1-0 for the Germans.
It took 19 minutes for City to mount their first attack, a good through ball by Elano saw city test the Hamburg defence but Steven Ireland was beaten to the ball by the German’s keeper
It would be a further 6 minutes before the Blues managed their first shot but Elano was well off target from 25 yards.Guerrero who had just come on as sub then had two impressive shots on goal the first a simlar chance to petrov’s and the second a 25 yarder curler a foot or so over the bar.
City’s best chance of the game came with less than 15 minutes to go as a Vassell volley from 8 yds was well palmed out by Rost
The last 12 minutes saw Kasper Schmeichel saving two 20 yard efforts from Ben-Hatira and Guerrero and Rost fumbly saved a low 20 yard effort from Sturridge.Just after the half hour mark the impressive Pitroipa found himself unmarked in the box following a van der Vaart free kick and he acrobatically volleyed just over the bar.
The same player went close again in the last 5 minutes of the half as he volleyed over from 18 yards when he should have really hit the target.
Mark Hughes must have been very frustrated with a poor, laboured performance from City in the first half.
Kasper Schmeichel replaced Joe Hart at Half Timend the first 15 minutes were quite even but neither side could create any chances.The 65th minute saw a great run from Petrov which finished with a tremendous shot which flew just wide from 20 yards.